RMTA is an Equal Opportunity Non-Profit Organization
RMTA Trials Series
Rounds 3 & 4
May 22-23, 2010
Colorado Springs, Colorado
By Ron Pocher
Photos By Mark Doyle
I’m not real sure when the last time you were in Wyoming was, but if you ever venture up that way again, check out those massive structures that they have their traffic lights attached to. They look like something you would start with if you were planning to build the world’s most indestructible fortress. There’s a reason for this, you know – the wind blows so frickin’ hard up there, that you often find yourself ducking flying mailboxes, trash cans and Smart Cars.
The RMTA is always more than happy to see out-of-state guests attending their trials events and Wyomingites are the most frequent visitors. Cheyenne’s Ron Anderson and Casper’s Fred Martinson are actually even RMTA members. All of the WMTA faithful are always welcomed with open arms – just leave your bloody wind at home next time…Clay.
Yes sports fans, it was more than a little windy. Eye protection, which isn’t a typical trials accessory, was highly recommended for fending off the blowing sand. Although Sunday’s gusts toned down to a more manageable velocity, E-Z Ups (if erected) still would have ended up somewhere near Lincoln.
The gaggle of riff-raff, who referred to themselves as Trials Masters, included John Clement; “Big Al” Duke; Dave, Ryan and Ty Lindeman; Mike Kunz; and Jody and Jeff “El Jefe” Hutchinson. John and Marcie Hutchinson were joined by Marcie Manniko at the sign-up/score table.
The two-day event, which was set on the historic grounds known as “Corral Bluffs”, boasted ten sections for each round. The upper level clan took to the traps Saturday morning while the support classes were first to ride come Sunday. Sunday’s Section 6 went from being a “decider” to a “cake walk”, when the morning observers moved the exit gates after inadvertently overlooking some hillside split cards.
Evan Manniko took the Junior A honors on both days with his 14 and 6-point rides. Zack Bunge claimed second in Round 3 but slipped to third in the Round 4 contest. Garrett Stokes and his 10-card gave Mr. Manniko a run for his money on Sunday, finishing runner-up, while Bunge bro number two, Tyler, took fourth.
Jackson Lewis pocketed the gold both days, in the Junior B division, with his stellar 12 and 16-point cards. Mia Manniko waltzed away wearing two silver’s, with Chase Bright snagging third on Saturday and Isabella Parker holding that spot after Sunday’s scuffle.
Chase Abbott lined up his P’s and Q’s just right, throughout the weekend, with two Novice class victories. Micah Hertrich nabbed silver on each day, with two impressive outings, but a sub-par loop in each round may have nixed his chances for gold. Heidi Distel snatched third on Saturday while Nigel Parker rounded out Sunday’s podium.
Wyoming’s Fred Martinson was his usual “steady as a rock” self in the Vintage A division. Most of Fred’s loop scores could have been counted on one hand, but that Saturday morning, first loop 17 must have obviously been due to a spot of “van lag”.
Scott Sears, and his 18-card, strolled away with the laurels in Saturday’s Amateur class. John Hutchinson’s 25 and Chuck Distel’s 37 didn’t miss the mark by much, though. Ray Plumb and Hutchinson had a fairly intense battle during Sunday’s contest, but Plumb proved to be on the level with his 20-point effort. Hutchinson’s 23-card found him in second while Jordan King was left holding the bronze, his first Amateur class medal, with just 30 marks dropped.
David Koerwitz rode to a somewhat easy victory over Chuck Moline, 17 to 49, in Saturday’s Senior Amateur group but the competition in Sunday’s match proved a tad stiffer. Andy Parker filched the Round 4 gold with his stunning 5-point ride. Koerwitz (11) and Moline (40) each slid down a notch to second and third, respectively.
In the Intermediate class, Pete Helfter found himself on the top step of Saturday’s podium with a fine 21-point display. For the second-straight round, Jon Greenleaf sat tied with another gent on both points and cleans, but this time he was the man with more one’s and edged Eric Krall for the silver. Greenleaf was able to add a more precious gold to his collection with his impressive 14-point, day two outing. Sir Greenleaf needed but a single dab on his final circuit. Brody Kunz put his feet back on the pegs, after a brief exile, and came away with 22 points and second place. Darren Myers climbed to the third rung with his 33.
California’s Rick Daniel seems to be rounding into shape rather nicely and felt his way to the top of the heap in both Senior Intermediate rounds. Daniel should be ready for harvest just before Thanksgiving. Rick punched a 19-card on day one while Sunday saw him wrapping things up with 28. Jim Plumb snagged the silver on Saturday with his 30-card while Neil Pieper squeaked by Mark Berry on cleans, 13 to 12. Both scoundrels escaped with 36 points. Berry returned the favor, come Sunday, besting Pieper 32 to 34, for second.
Mr. Mike Buchholz needs to be drug out behind the wood shed and given fifty lashes, to the nostrils, with a pair of Daniel’s recently-used riding socks; maybe that would teach the old fossil to quit making mince meat of the Veteran class. Buchholz, who hates dabs like the devil hates virtue, flat put the whole intermediate level to shame throughout the weekend. “Buckwheatz” only needed 12 dabs on day one and must have figured that was twelve too many, since he never bothered to put a foot down in any of day two’s 30 sections. Ron Anderson collected the Round 3 silver with his 25-card while Frank Petersen steered his way to third with 27. Petersen was able to upgrade his Sunday medal with the help of a “clean” last loop. “It’s pretty disheartening when you come in feeling really good about cleaning a whole loop and then you find out that the guy who beat you did it all three times”, said Petersen. Frank finished with just 10 marks lost while Mike Stokes was right there in the hunt with his 13-card.
Ian Leeming, after jumping to the Advanced class at Round 2, proved to be a fast learner by turning in a gold medal ride in Saturday’s round. Leeming posted 20 while Adam “the Big Bad Wolf” Leute scooted home in second with 22. Sarah Duke pick-pocketed the day one bronze from Stephen Marcus by topping him on cleans, 16 to 13. Both youngsters finished with 31 points. Billy Burgener showed the kids how it’s done on day two, by mining the gold with his shining 14-card. Leeming was just one spot weaker with his runner-up 22. Marcus turned the tables on Miss Duke, come Sunday, by ending play with a 29 to Sarah’s 31.
Tracy “Zerro” Zentz pulled a mild upset in the Senior Advanced class, when he rolled home with cards adding up to just 9, in Saturday’s round. Zentz posted the best, advanced line score of the day. Ron Schmelzle captured the silver with 14 while Mike Wehling’s 21-card proved good enough for the bronze. Schmelzle returned to his usual form, come Sunday, and had to take just one dab in the opening section of loop two. Wehling jumped up a spot to second with just 10 marks dropped while Zentz added a bronze to his Round 3 gold with 18.
Chris Hertrich and Kyle “K-O” Deines slugged it out all weekend in the Expert division. Hertrich saved his high score for the final circuit but matching 9-cards, on the first two loops, were just a bit more than Deines, and his third loop 8, could overcome. Hertrich took first with 32, Deines second with 44 and Kevin Busch third, another two dabs back, with 46. Deines must have found the Round 4 traps more to his liking as he was able to pocket Sunday’s gold with a smokin’ 30-point ride. Hertrich fell just one position, to second, with his 37-card. The other Busch brother, Keith, drove home with the remaining bronze after topping his sibling by three with 51.
Duke had his usual challenging sections patiently awaiting the calculated attempts of the Championship class youth. Keith Wineland, who’s currently sitting third in the NATC Pro points standings, handily won both rounds with cards reading 28 for Saturday and 23 for Sunday. Steven Deines was able to fill the runner-up slot on each day with 107 and 76-point rides. Deines treated the grateful gallery to some of his hill climbing prowess during Sunday’s round. WMTA member Shad Petersen, who regularly puts on exhibitions with his “Play With Gravity Trials Team”, was able to come home third each day with his 117 and 84-point scores. Dustin Hedwall punched a 121-card for fourth on Saturday, but was unable to compete on Sunday due to some ill-timed gearbox issues. New Mexico teenager, Nathan Hassler, took fifth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. Hassler showed true grit throughout the weekend, by tackling sections that obviously weren’t designed with his 125cc, small bore Gas Gas in mind. Bailey Tucker was understandably absent, due to his high school graduation proceedings.
How many times have you cleaned a section, effortlessly, on your last loop after butchering it all to hell on your first two attempts? Every single human, that has ever swung a leg over a trials bike, has often asked himself “why couldn’t I have just ridden like that on those other two tries”? Well…that answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. That answer is blowin’ in the wind.